The former UK prime minister started painting at the age of 40.
Rabat – “Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque” will be presented March 1, 2021 in Christie’s auction house. The bidding starts at €1.7 million.
Churchill gifted this painting to US President Franklin Roosevelt before one of his sons sold it in the 1950s. It was then resold several times before arriving in the hands of Hollywood star Angelina Jolie in 2011.
The painting shows the minaret of the Koutoubia Mosque, a symbol of Almohad architecture from the 12th century. In the background, the Atlas Mountains add a touch of majesticness.
Having visited Marrakech six times in 23 years, Churchill immortalized and captured the beauty of this monument in a painting.
The painting was Churchill’s only artwork during WWII.
“Here, in the vast oases of palm trees that emanate from the desert, the traveler is sure to enjoy endless sun (…) and the landscapes of the majestic Atlas mountains covered with snow,” he wrote in the Daily Mail in 1936, describing the captivating beauty of the scenery.
According to the auction guide, the painting is considered “Churchill’s most important work, given its close connection to 20th century history.”
The painting is considered “historically significant” because of Churchill’s position and because of his relevance to the time of WWII.
The auction house also stated that Winston Churchill “created around 45 paintings depicting Moroccan landscapes after he was encouraged to visit the country by his art tutor Sir John Lavery.”
He was also inspired by the ochre city and painted “Scene at Marrakech, circa 1935.” Which is also put up for auction.